France’s Macron on Huawei: Over-protectionism not the answer

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron poured cold water on the idea of implementing protectionist measures on tech companies like Huawei.

Asked by CNBC’s Karen Tso Thursday about U.S. pressure on the Chinese telecommunications giant, he said: “We have some restrictions nevertheless (are) totally focused on what is usually related to This kind of national security, nothing more.”

“There is usually no over-protectionism vis-a-vis any of the big global tech (firms) because we need them to fertilize our ecosystem, we want to be stronger as well as stronger as well as create maximum jobs.”

However, he added: “For sure on some issues we have restrictions, not focused on Huawei, nevertheless to preserve our national security as well as our sovereignty for critical reasons.”

The U.S. has been at loggerheads with China in an intense trade battle of which has spilled over into the tech world. President Donald Trump, who claims the country’s trade practices are unfair, on Wednesday declared a national emergency over the threat to U.S. technology, adding Huawei to a list of companies of which makes the idea more difficult to conduct business with U.S. firms.

Meanwhile, France has looked to clamp down on tech giants like Facebook, Google as well as Amazon over their taxation practices, proposing a 3% levy on the domestic revenues of such firms.